“This is the year I break out of this winter cocoon and transform into a beautiful butterfly with a six pack.” You may have made this resolution before or know someone who has (maybe not in those exact words). Is this way of thinking the best way to go about creating a healthier you or are there better options? Research shows us that this boom or bust way of thinking has not been successful in the past.
One study showed that 77% of people keep resolutions for one week, 55% for one month, 40% for six months, and after two years only 19% are sticking with their resolution.
1. Improve yourself, don’t create a new you
Understand where you are with your daily exercise and set manageable goals. If it has been awhile since you have worked out don’t attempt to commit to five hours of running a week and salads every day (especially if you don’t enjoy either of them). Instead, in the beginning, commit to two hours a week of physical activity you enjoy and add fruits and veggies you like to each meal.
2. Set realistic goals and be patient
As the new year rolls around we tend to create goals that are six months to a year down the road. This sets you up for one opportunity to be successful or fail. It’s okay to have these long-term goals, but you should create small goals that lead up to the big one. This will help you to have success multiple times a year and keep momentum going to your long-term goal.
Changing habits takes time and can be difficult. Be patient with yourself and try to change only a couple habits at a time. Trying to change too much at once can leave you overwhelmed and lead to giving up altogether. Once you feel confident with the first two habits, add in a couple more!
3. Do what has worked in the past and get rid of what hasn’t
Running and salads are a popular go to when attempting to lose weight. If you have tried this in the past and it’s not sustainable then I would say it isn’t the right fit for you. There are so many options when it comes to improving health and it’s important to find a way that works for YOU. Find physical activity that you enjoy or try something you have never done before. Work on balance, variety, and moderation when focusing on food changes. Improving or maintaining health is a life long journey, so don’t get frustrated if you haven’t found what works for you yet.
4. Treat each day as a new day
We all have our good days and our bad ones. The key to improving your health is to realize that it isn’t linear. If you have a gluttonous weekend don’t let it carry into the next week. Often people will beat themselves up and say forget it. Start your Monday with a fresh slate and continue to work on changing your habits.
If you feel a habit has been too difficult to master, then don’t be afraid to make the habit a little easier or change it. If making it to the gym three times a week isn’t working with your current schedule, then commit to two times a week.
At Motion 4 Life Fitness we have a qualified staff that will help you improve your health and quality of life!